Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz is a pioneering researcher who has established the very first system to culture human embryos through the implantation stages and so allowing embryos to survive longer in the lab than ever possible before. Her latest research being published in Nature this week reports on her team’s work in developing complete synthetic mouse embryos from multiple stem cells. Previously these embryo-like structures were generated but did not completely mimic all phases of development. Zernika-Goetz’s latest study successfully developed these embryo-like structures beyond neural development and demonstrates that they can develop the functions of a natural embryo including a beating heart, a neural tube, and a gut tube. Zernicka-Goetz showed the first proof of concept that this system can be used to understand the development of the brain and neurological disorders without the need for animal experiments.
The SMC invited Professor Zernika-Goetz and her fellow authors to brief journalists on their latest findings and answer any questions.
Prof Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Bren Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology, University of Cambridge
Dr Gianluca Amadei, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge
Prof David Glover, Research Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.